How Do I Write A Letter Asking For Donations?


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Oscar De La Huerte Profile
Writing a letter to ask for donations can be a useful way of raising funds. The main things to keep in mind when putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) are:
  • The tone of your request
  • Explaining the reason why you require donations clearly and concisely
  • Give traceable information about you and the organization/cause for which you are raising money

The tone of your donation letter

Finding the right voice or tone for a letter is important in any circumstance, but when requesting funding or donation it is critical.

To be effective, your letter needs to portray credibility, integrity and also a genuine need for money.
It's no easy feat squeezing all that into one letter, so your choice of words is important.

For an effective tone, you want to sound formal enough for your request to seem genuine and trustworthy. People parting with their money will want reassurance that their charitable dollars are going to a worthwhile and honorable cause.

On the other hand, sounding too robotic or stiff will impact negatively on your plea. There are hundreds of charities and causes to which people can donate all over the world, so you don't want to risk sounding like a generic and forgettable pamphlet.

You also want to sound humble and appreciative; remember, you are not collecting taxes!

To really hook people in, try and include a slightly personal touch to your wording and vocabulary.
Finding the balance between formal and personal is difficult, so my suggestions is to try out several drafts and see which one reads best.

Donation request letters- clear and to the point

With the amount of personal involvement you probably have in the cause for which you are raising money, there is going to be a temptation to pour your heart out about why people should donate. Try to resist this urge. Whilst it is important to get your message across, the purpose of a donation letter isn't to inform people about your cause in the same way a flyer of pamphlet would.

Use easy to read, short sentences, and make the reading process as easy and straightforward as possible. This will ensure people absorb the maximum amount of information quickly, and will ultimately make your letter more effective.

Who am I donating money to?

When writing your letter, keep in mind that people are asked for money for all sorts of reasons these days.

Just leafing through my mailbox the other week, I came across various charities, private companies and sales correspondence - all asking me to send in money via various methods. People are often skeptical (and rightly so!) of this type of correspondence.

To dispel any doubt, the best thing to do is provide as much traceable information as you possibly can in relation to the cause for which you're collecting. Mentioning a phone number, email address or even a website that people can link back to will go some way to reassuring people that you are the real deal.

If your letter will only be circulated to people you know or trust, then you may also want to add your personal contact information to your letter as well.

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